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Information and statistics about the health of mothers and their babies is important for monitoring and evaluating the provision and outcomes of maternity services and care in Australia.
The AIHW National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC) is a national data collection of pregnancy and childbirth. Data are collected for each birth in each state and territory by midwives and other staff. The data are collated by state and territory health departments, and each year an extract is provided to the AIHW for compilation into a national dataset. This extract includes the Perinatal National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) and additional data items.
The Perinatal National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) is an agreed set of perinatal data items for mandatory uniform supply by states and territories to support national reporting. It includes data items relating to the mother, including demographic characteristics and factors relating to the pregnancy, labour and birth, and data items relating to the baby, including birth status, sex and birthweight.
Australia's mothers and babies is the main report on data from the NPDC and is produced annually. The Perinatal dynamic data display complements this publication.
The Perinatal dynamic data display provides progressively released data from the NPDC. Several releases are planned and once completed, the data display will provide data for the entire maternal pathway, from demographics of mothers and babies through to the antenatal period, labour and birth, and outcomes for mothers and babies. Users can select different views of the data such as by state and territory, or maternal characteristics, for example, age, parity or ethnicity.
Dynamic data display
All mothers and babies and perinatal health reports
The Maternity Information Matrix (MIM) is a summary of data items in Australian national and jurisdictional data collections relevant to maternal and perinatal health.
The MIM documents data collection practices as at July 2013.
The MIM includes:
An update to the MIM will be available in 2016.
The AIHW is working on a project to improve maternal and perinatal data. The aim of the project is to develop nationally consistent and comprehensive maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity data collections in Australia. The project is guided by an Advisory group consisting of experts in the fields of obstetrics, midwifery and statistics.
Reports on the findings of the project are available:
Foundations for enhanced maternity data collection and reporting in Australia: National Maternity Data Development Project - Stage 1
Enhancing maternity data collection and reporting in Australia: National Maternity Data Development - Project Stage 2
The AIHW commissioned the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute to explore the views of maternity clinicians on asking pregnant women about their alcohol use and the feasibility of using a standardised screening tool such as the AUDIT-C. The study also included pregnant women and sought to explore their views on being asked about alcohol use as part of their maternity care and what they thought about having this information on alcohol dose and frequency of usage reported at a national level.
The AIHW has developed a set of indicators to monitor the quality of maternity services across Australia. The specifications for 15 indicators have been finalised and endorsed by the heads of Australian Government and state and territory health departments.
Reports on National core maternity indicators are available:
National core maternity indicators (report)
National core maternity indicators – stage 2 report: 2007–2011
National Core Maternity Indicators stage 3 and 4 results from 2010–2013
The AIHW also produces reports on the health, development and wellbeing of Australia's children.